Green Peas health benefits includes fighting inflammation, suppressing appetite, excellent source of protein, promoting digestion, reducing cardiac risk, support eye health, promoting weight loss, preventing cancer, reducing osteoporosis risk, supporting healthy pregnancy, and supporting immune system.
How often do you eat green peas? If you don’t consume them very often, it’s time to start since they contain a multitude of nutrients that can help benefit your health.
Also known by the scientific name Pisum sativum, green peas are actually seeds (or technically legumes), even though they can be considered significantly more fleshy than what we have come to associate with being a seed.
Written evidence has shown that green peas were consumed centuries ago, being popularly included in European cuisine. Today, they are enjoyed the world over and can be found growing in diverse geological regions.
Wondering what they can do for you? Let’s explore the most noticeable benefits they can have on your health:
11 Amazing Health Benefits of Green Peas
1. Potent Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Most people don’t associate green peas with helping to control inflammatory processes, instead lumping them together as just another starchy vegetable. However, it’s time that all changes, as green peas are loaded with flavonoid compounds known as catechins, similar to those that are found in green tea.
Controlling the effects of excessive inflammatory processes in the body is important to maintenance of overall health, as time and time again acceleration of these processes causes rapid deterioration of our health.
2. Suppresses Appetite
Green peas are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which has been positively associated with decreased cravings and hunger in between meals, attributed largely to fiber’s effect on controlling blood glucose levels.
Rapid rises and subsequent falls in blood glucose levels is implicated in triggering of the hunger reflex, which is why anything that helps to stabilize blood glucose – in this case fiber, will help to control hunger and cravings.
3. Excellent Protein Source
Proteins are the macronutrients responsible for growth and repair of cells, although finding adequate sources can be difficult if you are a vegan or vegetarian.
Green peas are a welcome addition to your arsenal of protein rich foods on such a diet, even though they cannot be considered complete proteins. This is because green peas lack essential amino acids, making it necessary to include other proteins to complement it.
Regardless, regular consumption of green peas can go far way in helping you meet your daily intake goals.
4. Promotes Digestion
Green peas contain both soluble and insoluble fibers, which play important but different roles in the digestive process.
Soluble fiber, for instance, helps to nourish the helpful probiotic bacteria living in our intestines, so that food metabolism is not impaired.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber adds bulk to waste and ensures speedy transit and removal from the body. Insoluble fiber also lends itself to promoting regularity, decreasing the likelihood of constipation occurring.
5. May Reduce Cardiac Risk
Cardiac risk is the relative likelihood of experiencing a serious cardiovascular episode, such as a heart attack or stroke. Consumption of green peas can help to decrease your risk by numerous mechanisms.
For instance, as previously mentioned green peas are strongly anti-inflammatory, which by itself decreases the likelihood of cholesterol deposits adhering to the blood vessel walls and reducing the space within them.
In addition to this, soluble fiber acts as a sort of cholesterol sponge, helping to remove bile acids from circulation, so that more cholesterol is recruited to replace the removed enzyme. Normally, bile is recycled so that more cholesterol is not needed for production. By removing bile from circulation, you contribute to utilization of cholesterol and a reduction of blood levels.
Lastly, green peas also contain a slew of minerals that benefit the cardiovascular system such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
6. Great For Eye Health
The carotenoid group of vitamins is very important for their overall antioxidant properties, especially when it comes to eye health.
As we age, they undergo natural processes such as macular degeneration which causes diminished vision. Green peas are a great source of many carotenoid vitamin A like compounds, which help preserve eye function and buffer oxidative damage to the sensitive structures within.
7. Supports Weight Loss
Green peas are great complements when trying to lose weight, by virtue of their high fiber content, coupled with generous protein that helps to reduce the number of calories consumed per day, and also increase the number of calories burnt at rest.
Proteins have the highest thermic of all macronutrient groups, which results in a large proportion of the calories contained within being used to facilitate digestion. This is why protein rich diets are great for weight loss.
8. May Help Prevent Cancer
Green peas are a rich natural source of antioxidants, which play a critical role in reducing your lifetime risk of developing cancer. While this protection isn’t absolute, legumes such as peas are amongst the top foods that can significantly reduce your risk of this debilitating disease.
Green peas also contain compounds called saponins, which have been found to have great potential in reducing the risk of mutations occurring within cells. Just be sure to couple the regular consumption of green peas with a healthy lifestyle for maximal risk reduction.
9. Reduces Osteoporosis Risk
Many vitamins and minerals come together to positively influence bone health, in this case green peas contain generous amounts of vitamin K, a rare and often misunderstood vitamin.
Vitamin K is most well-known for its effects on promoting normal blood clotting, but also helps ensure adequate bone mineralization (that is the deposition of minerals into the bone matrix), to reduce your risk of frail bones and osteoporosis later in life.
Adequate consumption of these bone building nutrients is especially important around the time of menopause when women lose the protective effect that estrogen has on bone tissue.
10. Supports Healthy Pregnancy
Chances are your first visit to your obstetrician after finding out that you are pregnant coincided with the recommendation of consuming additional folic acid to support the development of your baby’s nervous system to reduce the risk of certain birth defects.
Green peas contain folate, which is superior to synthetic folic acid in a few ways, such as offering improved absorption and a greater spectrum of activity. A single cup serving size of green peas supplies approximately 25% of your daily recommended intake of this B vitamin, helping bring you closer to your daily goal.
11. Supports The Immune System
While antioxidant vitamins that are A, C and E get the lion’s share of the glory when it comes to boosting immune health, there are a slew of other extremely important nutrients that are often overlooked.
One such of these nutrients it zinc, which can boost immune function significantly, enhancing efficiency of white blood cells, helping reduce the chances of a pathogen causing infection. Zinc is also critically involved in several reactions our body performs all day long, and also possesses strong antioxidant actions itself.
While green peas are chock-full of nutritional goodness and benefits for your health, there is one major caveat that needs mentioning – they are considered anti-nutrient foods.
These foods may interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients, so in the interest of getting the most out of the green peas without interfering absorption of other nutrients, it is best to not consume supplements at the same sitting.
Doing so have the best chance of optimizing your nutritional uptake and experiencing all the glorious effects of Greenpeace.